I have both a little boy who's just turned 3 as well as a 3 year old niece. The article below gives suggestions of the best books for 3 year olds (boys and girls) based on those that my son and niece love at the moment.
I find that a lot of the books which are popular with 3 year olds are interactive books where they can lift flaps and press buttons. What's in the Witch's Kitchen featured below is currently one of my son's favourites (he asks for it every night!). It's a lift the flap book. The witch has hidden a trick or treat in different places, whether you get a trick or treat depends on how you open the doors. There is also a pop up surprise at the end. You Choose is winner of the Mumsnet 2011 Best Children's Book (3-4 years) and my son and I have had great fun going through this book. With the help with some fantastic illustrations you get to choose where you would live, where you would sleep, who would be your friends and what games would you play. We also like puppet books where parents or children can put their hand in the back of the puppet, put on their best monster voice and help tell a story. Some good choices of puppet books are Calm Down Boris and You're Not So Scary Sid by Sam Lloyd.
Some of My 3 Year Old Boy's Favourties.
These books are very simple stories that my 3 year old son loves. Handa's surprise and my cat just sleeps are simple story books that are well illustrated and are favourites of both my son and niece. Owl babies is one of my favourites. The first time I read it to my son, he was enthralled and asked for it every night for quite a while. The owl babies mummy is gone for a long time and the owl babies wait for her, worrying about where she has gone. After you've read it a few times your child will enjoy joining in some of the lines from the story. Little Rabbit Foo Foo is a really funny and catchy rhythmic book that I have enjoyed reading again and again as a parent (and there aren't many books like that!). Little Rabbit Foo Foo rides through the forest and bops wriggly worms, tigers and goblins on the head. The good fairy warns the naughty rabbit she will change him into a goonie if he doesn't change his ways. My son can now repeat parts of the book out loud.
Classic Books for 3 Year Olds
Here are some timeless classics that my 3 year old son and niece love. There are a couple of lift the flap books in this list below (Where's Spot and Dear Zoo). My 3 year old especially seems to love lift the flap books.
Julia Donaldson Books
Julia Donaldson is a hugely popular author with preschoolers and many parents will have heard of the The Gruffalo. A TV adaptation of the Gruffalo was broadcast last Christmas day. Donaldson's stories are rhyming stories with excellent characters, twists and turns. The books are all really well illustrated too. Here are a great selection of Julia Donaldson books below. If you have a 3 year old who loves Julia Donaldson books, there is a great offer at The Book People. Buy 10 Julia Donaldson books for £9.99.The recommended retail price is £59.90 so it's a saving of £49.91. These could be given to one child as a gift, make a gift for several children or a party favour for a 3rd birthday party.
More Great Stories for 3 Year Olds
There are some great story books for 3 year olds. Below are some of our favourites. I love Giraffe's Can't Dance. It tells the story of Gerald who is a giraffe who loves to dance but the other animals laugh at him because he looks so clumsy and awkward when he dances with his long, thin legs. Gerald is disheartened but he learns that he can dance if he just dances to a different tune. So he learns to dance to a new tune and the animals find a new appreciation for Geralds dancing which is different to their own. It's a great book for teaching 3 year olds it's okay to be different. We also love the How Do Dinosaurs series. How do dinosaurs is just one book in the series. What if a dinosaur's friends come to play? Does he mope, does he pout if he can't get his way? Does he hide all his dump trucks, refusing to share? Does he throw his friends' coloring books up in the air? Great at teaching children how to play nicely. Big Red Bath tells the story of Ben and Bella and how they are joined at bathtime by lots of different animals. Big bright illustrations make this book really stand out.
Books from TV shows
Books featuring characters from TV shows are often very appealing to 3 year olds. Some ideas below includes the Peppa Pig sound book. It inlcudes lots of different buttons to press which make 18 different noises. There are lots of great Peppa Pig books that both 3 year old girls and boys will love. Its obviously good to choose books on characters from TV shows that your child loves. The books below are based on what my son and niece like which includes Fireman Sam, Roary the Racing Car and Thomas the Tank Engine. If you have a Peppa Pig fan, then you can currently buy 8 Peppa activity books for £7.99 at The Book People.